July 7, 2016





The Ellettsville, Indiana Plan Commission met in regular session on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in the Fire Department Training and Conference Room located at 5080 West State Road 46.  Terry Baker called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  Terry Baker led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Roll Call:  Members present were:  Terry Baker, President; Brian Mobley, Vice President; Pat Wesolowski, David Drake, Kevin Farris and Sandra Hash.  Don Calvert was absent.  Kevin Tolloty, Planning Director, Darla Brown, Town Attorney, and Rick Coppock, Bynum Fanyo and Associates, Town Engineer, were also present.


Approval of the Minutes


Terry Baker entertained a motion for approval of the minutes for the regular meeting on May 5, 2016.  Kevin Farris so moved.  Pat Wesolowski seconded.  Motion carried.


Terry Baker announced Old Business will be heard after New Business. 


New Business


Development Plan Approval for Gieselman – Franklin Storage Facility, 6800 Block of N. Starnes Road; Petitioner:  Richard Gieselman; Case No. PC 2016-15


Kevin Tolloty, Planning Director, explained the petitioner is seeking development plan approval of five mini storage buildings and an open air large vehicle storage lot which will be gravel as approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.  There will be 150 10 x 20 units, 56 10 x 15 units and 38 10 x 10 units.  Access will be off of Starnes Road.  Staff recommended approval of the development plan. 


Pat Wesolowski asked if the storage units will be located close to the solar farm.  Mr. Gieselman answered there will be a property located between them.  Mr. Mobley asked if there are storage units located next to his property.  Mr. Gieselman replied his property is adjacent to that property.  Ms. Hash asked what the building materials will be.  Mr. Gieselman answered it will be a metal building and will match his existing building.  Ms. Hash asked what the surface will be.  Mr. Gieselman answered it will be asphalt with an asphalt entrance.  Mr. Wesolowski asked if there will be a fence around the property and will it be gated with a pass to get in.  Mr. Gieselman replied yes.  Mr. Drake asked if this abuts to any residential property.  Mr. Gieselman answered the side with the buffer will separate them from one home to the north.  Ms. Hash asked if it will be adjacent to the Abbotts.  Mr. Gieselman answered yes but he now owns a piece of the Abbott property so there’s a tree line.  Mr. Wesolowski asked how many units there will be.  Mr. Gieselman replied 244 units.  Ms. Hash asked if there will be large trees and shrubbery between the properties.  Mr. Gieselman answered yes, on the sides where the homes are located and the other side is protected by a large woods and a lot of property.  Mr. Mobley asked Mr. Tolloty to look into making that area a financial district.


Terry Baker entertained a motion to approve Case No. PC 2016-15 for the Gieselman – Franklin Storage Facility development located at 6800 N. Starnes Road.  Pat Wesolowski made a motion to approve Case No. PC 2016-15 for the Gieselman – Franklin Storage Facility development located at 6800 N. Starnes Road.  David Drake seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Terry Baker – yes; David Drake – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Pat Wesolowski – yes; and Sandra Hash - yes.  Motion carried 6-0.


Waiver from Subdivision Requirements for Centennial Park Located North of Centennial Drive; Petitioner: Gilbert Mordoh, on behalf of Development Group Network, Inc.; Case No. PC 2016-14


Kevin Tolloty, Planning Director, explained this is a request for a waiver for ingress/egress from subdivision regulations for Centennial Park which was preliminarily approved in 2008.  The preliminary plat is still valid and there are no changes.  Town Code requires two entrances.  When the preliminary plan was approved in 2008 there were entrances off of Ribbon Lane to the west and off of Centennial Drive to the south.  Since then there has been litigation and the access off of Centennial Drive is not valid.  The waiver would allow the subdivision to have one entrance off of Ribbon Lane.  Town Code requires any subdivision with 10 or more buildable lots to have two points in and out.  Staff does not recommend approval of the waiver.  Roads are stubbed out in every direction and there could be additional access points. 


Gilbert Mordoh, Certified Real Estate Appraiser and Developer with Development Group Network, Inc., explained this development would be a prime location for expansion of the tax base with the potential of 78 new homes.  It is their opinion the lots would sell at a rapid pace.  He is requesting a variance for the platted subdivision in question.  The property is presently sold to Raymond Moore and Steve Emery, who in turn will sell the lots to Beacon Homes.  Beacon Homes is a good fit for this property.  He is requesting a waiver for the second entrance into the subdivision to get things started.  Once things are developed with the surrounding properties there will be a second or third entrance into the subdivision.   If the variance is not approved the value of the property will be severely diminished and a great loss to the tax base.


Jason McCauley, Attorney for Development Group Network, Inc., explained this property is expected to have rapid development should the waiver be granted.  The approved preliminary plat complies in all other aspects.  There is the potential for the road to be built on Highland Drive in Centennial Park to the south which will alleviate traffic concerns and take traffic from subdivisions to the west of Centennial Park and out to the stoplight at State Road 46.  The developer to the south filed suit to remove the access point at the end of Centennial Drive.  This developer has not recorded the plat for the portion that contains Highland Park, however, they are in discussion to negotiate the terms to develop or construct it for him.  His client has proceeded all along with the understanding there was a second access point at the end of Centennial Drive.  The second access point was superfluous at the time the preliminary plat was approved.  The petitioner has continued to market the property and proceed in accordance with the idea they had met all of their obligations with respect to the plat.  The buyers will quickly add a substantial benefit to Ellettsville.  Should the waiver be granted the public benefits would be tax based.  There is a 20’ strip of land bordering Centennial Park subdivision on the west that does give another access point for this subdivision.  The first option, if the Plan Commission is not inclined to grant the waiver based on hardship, may be a public benefit if the Development Group were to allocate the 20’ parcel to Ellettsville as a walking path and commit the funds necessary for it.  This may alleviate some of the traffic and there may be a pedestrian path for Centennial Park, Highland Park and the subdivisions to the west.  When a second, third or fourth access point becomes available for Centennial Park Ellettsville and the residents are going to have use of an access point to alleviate some traffic concerns.  Another option is the access point could be allocated as an emergency vehicle access but they have not had the opportunity to discuss this with public safety officials.  It is a 25’ strip of land and there is nothing in Town Code that says how wide it has to be.  If public safety officials agree a gravel road could be installed so it alleviates the need for emergency vehicles to access the property only by one access point. This would be a temporary commitment because in the future when there is another access point by a regular road through Centennial Park or otherwise it would then be vacated and become a pedestrian walkway and thoroughfare.  The petitioner has proceeded with the understanding they did everything they had to do when this was first approved.  They’re requesting the waiver be granted based on a hardship.  If the Plan Commission should feel there are other options they would rather pursue then they’re requesting another opportunity to continue this until the next hearing especially considering the emergency access. 


David Drake noted Union Valley Farms and Overbrook Estates have one access point but they have stubs to allow other access points in the future.  He doesn’t know if they’ve always required someone to have two as long as there were stubs to continue on with further roads when the other areas develop.  Mr. Tolloty thinks Overbrook is to connect back into Meadowbrook at some point.  Mr. Drake asked if Town Code says they have to provide for or if there has to be more than one ingress/egress.  Ms. Brown answered §153.074(e), Access, provides that subdivisions over 10 lots must provide two ways in and out of the subdivision for emergency vehicles.  Mr. Drake asked if “provide” means they have to currently be there or provide two ways to get in if one is not yet connected.  Ms. Brown replied the code is not that specific.  Ms. Hash asked if the property extends all the way to Lost Man’s Lane why can’t they start off of it.  Mr. McCauley answered the property to the north that abuts Lost Man’s Lane is not owned by the Development Group.  Ms. Hash recalls the issue on Centennial Drive was two neighbors were totally surprised because they didn’t realize there was an easement.  This was a big factor on it being annexed and considering that portion because it did have access to the stoplight on Centennial Drive.  To go out Ribbon Lane and empty on to State Road 46 is not a good intersection.  Mr. McCauley explained the Petitioner’s hope is development by Beacon Homes will increase the value of the property to the south and the rate of development.  As soon as Highland Drive is developed to the south it will not only empty the traffic from Centennial Park but also traffic from Deer Park Drive.  The plat for Highland Drive has not been recorded.   


Pat Wesolowski asked why more exits can’t be done now?  Mr. McCauley answered they don’t own all of the real estate around it.  Everything has been stubbed out to the border of the property.  The plat has street stubs as required for access but the surrounding properties have not been developed.  There is a development plan for Highland Drive to come through and they are trying to find out if they can help construct it.  Mr. Wesolowski asked how the lawsuit evolved with this property.  Mr. McCauley explained Bob Crider maintained ownership of a 50’ easement at the end of Centennial Drive.  There was no indication on the 50’ strip of land whether or not it was going to be a public space or right-of-way.  It was not a conforming lot under any other circumstance.  The preliminary plat was approved based on the assumption that was the right-of-way for the access point thus the name “Centennial Park”.  Mr. Crider filed a quiet title suit and won.  There is a fourth option to exercise eminent domain.  They propose, based on a hardship, a waiver.  It will not be an indefinite time period before there are other access points.  Mr. Wesolowski asked if the 50’ easement belongs to Mr. Crider is there no way to get access through there.  Mr. McCauley answered that is correct.  Mr. Crider owns a fee simple title to it without eminent domain proceedings.  Ms. Hash asked if Mr. Crider built the homes on Centennial Drive.  Mr. McCauley replied he sold the lots to Gentry Homes.  Mr. Drake asked if there is any possibility of purchasing the right-of-way for access.  Mr. McCauley thinks there would be a reasonable price to be paid for it.  The value of the property to the north greatly hinges on the outcome of this meeting.  Mr. Drake isn’t concerned about having one access as long as they have stubs to provide other streets as they’re developed.  He is concerned, however, about approving 78 lots.  He would be more comfortable approving this if they were to cut a plat in half for 35 lots until there is another access.  Mr. McCauley asked if he suggesting a staggered approval.  Mr. Drake answered yes.  Mr. Mordoh thinks if they get a waiver then the developers buying it would want to go through Centennial Park and then it would be economically feasible for him to buy it from Mr. Crider.  Mr. Drake asked if there is a possibility of phasing the development so they’re not approving a plat for 78 lots with one entrance.  Mr. Mordoh responded the preliminary plat was approved with two entrances.  There are several ways to get out after leaving Ribbon Lane.  If it gets approved he can ask Mr. Crider if he will let him put a road to Centennial Drive.  If it doesn’t get approved Mr. Crider will not sell to him.  It is stubbed at two places.  Mr. Wesolowski asked if the 20’ strip of land mentioned earlier could be for emergency access.  Mr. Mordoh answered it is a possibility for emergency vehicles because Town Code states “access ways” for emergency vehicles but he doesn’t know the topography or cost to put it in.  It is not wide enough for a street and it comes out onto State Road 46.  Mr. Drake asked what if they approve it with the condition there has to be a second entrance.  Mr. Mordoh doesn’t think Mr. Crider would sell but if he gets the waiver then he would sell because he would build the road for him.  Mr. Wesolowski is against one exit.  Mr. Baker agreed.  Mr. Mordoh received a letter from the Town stating when they started putting sewer lines in it constituted they don’t have to have an extension.


The following expressed concerns about the proposed waiver as outlined below:


Wendy Poppy, President of Woodgate Homeowners Association

§  Road closures in the area increasing traffic to the Woodgate and Spring Valley Subdivisions.

§  An addition of at least 156 cars from building 78 homes in Centennial Park.

§  A 2003 traffic report from the Indiana Department of Transportation (“INDOT”) showed 22,570 daily vehicles on State Road 46.

§  Access by emergency vehicles.

§  Deterioration of streets by construction traffic as they’re a county road.

§  Drainage issues.


Jon Fresh, lives on North Shadow Wood Drive

§  Volume of traffic including construction traffic.

§  Drivers speeding up and down streets.

§  Deterioration of streets.

§  Difficulty of ingress/egress on State Road 46.


Terry Francis, owns land in the area of Centennial Park

§  Safety concerns for children.


Debra Hackman

§  Eminent domain resulting in a bullying action.

§  Crider easement would be insufficient.


John Stone, lives on Ardsley Lane

§  Thinks stubs are not connected in Union Valley Farms.

§  Concerned connection to State Road 46 could take 10 to 20 years.

§  Increased traffic on Shadow Wood Drive.

§  Reduction in home values.

§  Safety of children.


Deann Sparks, lives on Shadow Wood Drive

§  Increase in traffic.  Area cannot handle additional traffic.

§  Increase in police patrols needed.

§  More access roads.

§  Deterioration of streets from construction traffic.


Herbert Stroetz, lives on Ardsley Lane

§  Unsafe to have so many people in a subdivision living with only one access road.


Maxine de Olivera, Jr., lives on Allison Court

§  Concerned with more traffic going through two different neighborhoods.

§  Safety of children because of no sidewalks on some of the streets.

§  Access to State Road 46.


Marlene Stroetz, lives on Ardsley Lane

§  Emergencies and emergency vehicles.

§  Parking on the streets.


David Drake hears about traffic every time a development plan is presented.  Everybody is concerned about the traffic that comes after them.  People living in Spring Valley would have been much better off if Woodgate had never been built behind them and connected to their subdivision.  Woodgate is regulated by the county and not Ellettsville and is a large subdivision.  Until another access is put in, they could allow this to be developed in smaller phases.   He doesn’t think 30 or 35 lots compared to the size of Woodgate and the traffic would be an unfair problem.  He reiterated his concern of adding 78 new houses to an area with just one access through a subdivision.


Pat Wesolowski asked if the earlier statement that there is not room for an easement was correct.  Mr. McCauley answered no, the recorded plat for Highland Park shows 50’ and the preliminary plat says right-of-way is 50’.  Mr. Tolloty agreed.  Mr. Wesolowski asked if they would have to take additional property from either side.  Mr. McCauley replied not according to the plat.  Mr. Wesolowski doesn’t understand why they would develop a property without knowing what they have.  Mr. McCauley reiterated they proceeded as if it was an easement and by all appearances it was.  It took a lengthy amount of litigation to fight over it.  Ms. Hash advised when it was originally presented to the Plan Commission they showed the easement on maps and it made the annexation and development feasible.  Crider had started developing to the east and there were other stubs off of Centennial Drive.  How feasible is Highland Park?  Mr. McCauley explained they will have to put the road at the end of Centennial Drive, if Mr. Crider will sell it to them and it is wide enough, or Mr. Crider is not going to build Highland Drive until they come down on their price.  Mr. Crider has not recorded his final plat which includes Highland Drive.  If he would record his final plat then someone could construct it before he sold lots.  Town code provides there has to be two access points for emergency vehicles but it doesn’t speak to traffic flow.  They’ve met the requirements by putting out the street ends to each of the adjoining properties to provide for access.  Now, they’re at Mr. Crider’s mercy because he isn’t going to develop it to give them the access approved in the preliminary plat.  He is requesting the Plan Commission table this matter so they can pursue the idea of whether or not there can be an emergency vehicle access road only on the 20’ strip.  If this is the case than they won’t need a waiver because then there will be two access points for emergency vehicles.  If they can’t do this then they will pursue negotiations with Mr. Crider and approach people to the north for access.  They’ll research the option of doing a staggered development and whether not it is financially viable.  This would involve revising a plat with half of the lots developed with one access point and another part that would have two access points.  Mr. Drake asked the Town Attorney’s opinion as to whether Town Code required two access points or two emergency access points. 


Brian Mobley advised the Comprehensive Plan states they’re to implement a traffic plan that promotes business and protects the neighborhoods.  It seems if they put in an emergency exit and it gets passed then the citizens are done.   Mr. McCauley explained he thinks the plat as prepared by the petitioner is the most they can do with their property to conform with the Comprehensive Plan.  Mr. Mobley further stated no one addresses children safety or speeding.  Instead they’re worried about how much money they can make on a lot.  Mr. McCauley reiterated he is addressing the requirements of the Town Code.  With respect to the property owned by the petitioner they’ve done everything they can to promote safe access to the property.  They don’t own the property to the north or they would do that.  They don’t own the property to the south but they’re trying to do that.  They understand the residents’ concerns but Town Code says emergency vehicles and they can’t control the adjacent property owners.  They’re asking the Plan Commission for the waiver because they’re at a standstill with a property owner who is not subject to this jurisdiction. 


Terry Baker entertained a motion to continue this to the next meeting.  David Drake so moved.  Kevin Farris seconded.  Motion carried.


The meeting was adjourned for a recess.

The meeting was called back to order.


Old Business


Development Plan Approval for Litten Apartments, 7477 W. Raymond Run; Petitioner:  Quality Realty & Development, LLC; Case No. PC 2016-09


Kevin Tolloty, Planning Director, explained the following changes have been made since the April 7, 2016, meeting:  An emergency drive has been configured along the existing driveway that runs onto State Road 46; the number of units have been lowered from 72 to 68; buffering has been added to the southern border; several pocket parks have been added and a management and maintenance office on-site has been added.


Phil Tapp, Philip O. Tapp & Company, Inc., explained they made a few changes to the petition since April 7, 2016.  They had a neighborhood meeting and they are still miles apart with what they’re proposing.  They focused on addressable changes to keep the integrity of the project the developer wants to build.  The secondary emergency access was discussed at this meeting.  They met with INDOT on-site to ascertain whether an existing driveway cut to this property can be used as an entrance/exit for emergency vehicles.  INDOT said it is not a problem to use it the driveway for emergency vehicles.  They will put break away bollards up at the emergency access point along State Road 46 and the parking area.  The bollards restrict the movement of daily traffic but it is strictly for emergency vehicles.  Residents of the complex will use the entry on Raymond Run to turn onto State Road 46.  Buffering with pine trees was added to the south side of the detention pond.  They looked at the right-of-way on Raymond Run which separates the project.  There is a huge buffer to the south with green space and a detention pond.  The one story building on the northwest corner will set considerably off of the road.  They are not locating any units to the north that would back up to the highway.  Onsite management and maintenance was added and will be located in one of the units.  The original outline plan had a mixed-use project with 49 single family lots, 31 duplexes and 54 three bedroom apartments for a total of 134 units.  It developed with 73 single family lots but they’re losing one of the lots for the detention area.  They’re adding 4.36 acres for the 68 units which are a combination of two and one bedroom units.  A full build out will be 140 units accessing this point in lieu of the 134 which were approved.  The original apartments were 54 three bedroom apartments which is 162 bedrooms.  Now, they’re

looking at 41 two bedrooms and 27 one bedrooms for a total of 109 bedrooms which is 53 less than first anticipated.  A Bloomington ordinance has Dwelling Unit Equivalency (“DUE”) because they acknowledge one and two bedroom apartments do not offer the same intense uses as three, four and five bedroom apartments.  A one bedroom is 640 s/f and the DUE counts that as 1/4 of an apartment.  The 27 proposed one bedroom apartments would be the equivalent of seven three bedroom apartments.  The two bedrooms are .66 so 41 units are the equivalent of 27 units.  There would be 34 units from a DUE standpoint with less intensity than the 54 three bedroom units.  This relates to the number of people living there and the specific use of the renters.  The people who look at these are young professionals, single, older people and store managers.  These apartments will not be geared for large families.  They still have the same mixed-use scenario that they looked at 12 years ago.  Commercial zoning says this is a compatible use.


Traffic is always a concern.  They observed traffic for four days during peak hours.  Traffic flowed in and out of Litten Estates really well during peak hours.  From 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. there were two people turning into Litten Estates and six turning right out of the development.  From 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. there were two turning right into the development and six exiting to the west.  During the evenings people came in.  He provided a report on the Institute of Transportation’s engineer’s numbers.  He took the worst case movements out of every count and their numbers were a little higher.  The counts, however, correlated perfectly with the trip generation manual to a little less.  They have been through reviews with the Fire, Street, Planning and Utilities Departments and Town Engineer.  Mr. Baker asked if they did traffic counts on cars that went back through the additions.  Mr. Tapp answered no, they concentrated on the Raymond Run entrance because it was the focus at the prior Plan Commission meeting.  Mr. Wesolowski asked the height of the tallest building.  Mr. Tapp replied it is approximately 36’ to the peak.  Ms. Hash asked the definition of pocket parks.  Mr. Tapp explained they’re small green spaces within apartments that have uses that fit their tenants such as soft play areas, picnic tables and chairs.   Mr. Wesolowski asked what the wash out is.  Mr. Tapp answered a concrete wash out goes on the grading plan and goes away after construction.  Ms. Hash sees a lot of stairs leading to the apartments.  Do the entrances have to be accessible?  Mr. Tapp explained the architect spent a lot of time with the state and the ground floor one bedroom apartments were actually considered below grade units and do not have to be accessible and the two story units are exempt.  The building that is one story with one bedroom has to be accessible.  They could use the lower sidewalk without encountering steps to the main entry.  Ms. Hash asked if there are existing apartments they could look at where you have to walk around the back of the building from the parking lot.  Mr. Tapp replied Rolling Ridge across from the Sports Plex in Bloomington but there are none in Ellettsville.  Mr. Mobley asked if the rent will be income based.  Mr. Tapp answered no, part of it will be construction costs and other considerations.  Mr. Mobley lives up the hill and Saturday nights he has 12 to 13 children in his backyard.  There will be children in that complex.  Mr. Mobley asked if there will be Section 8 apartments.  Ms. Smith answered no, that is not their intent.  Mr. Mobley asked if they will guarantee it.  Ms. Smith hasn’t researched if she can legally turn down a Section 8 applicant.  Ms. Hash asked why they need such density.  Mr. Tapp explained 68 units sounds like a lot of units but the type of unit has a huge bearing on the type of density.  Again, 54 three bedroom apartments would have 162 bedrooms.  They’re looking at 109 bedrooms which is 53 bedrooms less on this project and the DUE is 34 units.  Thus, the density is not the same and is 20 units less than previously proposed.  Ms. Hash asked on the north and east sides of the landscape plans there is shorter coverage and Raymond Run on the high side has single trees.  Why was smaller landscaping not included?  Mr. Tapp explained those would be street trees.  At a meeting the Street Commissioner said he didn’t like trees between the sidewalk and the curb and asked for them to be moved back.  If they feel more green space or shrubs are needed they can work it into the plan.  Ms. Hash asked if the sidewalk will be on the road.  Mr. Tapp answered there will be a green strip between the road and sidewalk.  Ms. Hash asked when 140 vehicles come out the single entrance in the winter what is the person in a house to do with all of the light pollution.  It will infringe on their quality of life.  On Raymond Run when cars are turning left, can the people turning right see clearly?  Mr. Tapp thinks it would be a function of the car setting beside them.  Ms. Hash asked if the lighting will point down.  Mr. Tapp replied it all points down.


Brian Mobley asked if they talked to INDOT about exiting onto State Road 46 and doing away with Raymond Street.  Why don’t they reverse it?  Mr. Tapp doesn’t think that is a good idea.  It is much better to have a planned intersection that lines up with Red Bud and put in a traffic light or something to control the traffic.  If another intersection is put in a few hundred feet down now there is more conflicting movement to deal with.  It is not a good idea for long range planning.  Mr. Mobley argued cars will be exiting the Marathon Station, Red Hill Road and Maple Grove Road.  He doesn’t think it is feasible.  The traffic count wasn’t done when school was in session.  §152.276 states they have to specify the appearance of the neighborhood conserving the natural beauty of it and keeping within the contents of the Comprehensive Plan to keep its small town character.  There is no other community like this in Ellettsville.  Mr. Tapp stated this is why he goes back to what was originally approved with the Planned Unit Development (“PUD”) and they have not really changed the density, however, they brought more property in.  Mr. Mobley said it is Fred St. John’s property and is not Litten Estates.  Why should they be allowed to go onto Raymond Run?  Mr. Tapp answered when they did the PUD exhibit they were required to put a stub on Fred St. John’s property.  When they redesigned the project they didn’t need the stub and would make the road parallel to the entire property that way it can be accessed anywhere to it.  Mr. Wesolowski asked the difference between the emergency exit and having a cut come onto State Road 46.  Mr. Tapp replied the emergency exit is for emergency vehicles only and it will have break away bollards and day-in and day-out traffic will not use it.   The only time the emergency access will be used is in the event of an emergency.  If something happened at Raymond Run and they couldn’t get in or out the emergency vehicles ease up break off the bollards, go right in and service the project.  Mr. Mobley quoted the Comprehensive Plan, “A stable community promotes safe homes, putting down roots.”  Apartments are not a home and do not put down roots.  That’s the quality for being a successful community for Ellettsville.  He doesn’t see apartments as feasible to Ellettsville.  Mr. Baker asked if the exit to Raymond Run could be a right turn only to go to State Road 46 to keep cars from going back into the addition.  Mr. Tapp answered they would have to have a way to get back into apartments.  They could have a left turn in, only a right turn out and change some lighting if the Fire Department agrees with it.  Mr. Wesolowski asked the reason for wanting to build apartments in Ellettsville.  Jill Smith answered they feel it will serve a need.  They purchased the property with the knowledge that it was planned for apartments.  Mr. Mobley asked where they got that knowledge from.  Ms. Smith replied from Brian Hearne whom they purchased the property from.  Mr. Wesolowski quoted an email from Lori Ramsey, “Apartments I have found in the area to have vacancies advertised:  Ellettsville Apartments on Sales Street, Raubs Lane Apartments on Raubs Lane, Monroe Square Apartments on Temperance, Capitol Avenue Apartments on Capitol Avenue, Highland Park Apartments on Centennial Drive, Cedar Bluff Apartments and Echo Properties.”  If these all have openings where’s the need?  Ms. Smith answered when there are larger properties they tend to have a lot of turnover.  She can’t speak as to why they have vacancies.  They will have a nice desirable apartment and it is in a great location. 


Bill Beggs, Attorney for Petitioner, explained this case applies with the rules people in Ellettsville live by.  Town staff has looked at the code which requires the project fits the rules.  It is a fair project when it follows the rules.  Speculation about whether children will live at the apartment is not in Town Code as well as nothing says rent levels are the Plan Commission’s province.  Nothing in Town Code discusses as speculation.  Town Code provides rules for what the project has to comply with.  Page 3 of the Staff Report states “This project meets the rules” and this is fair.  Are we saying that people who live in apartments are not living in homes?  They respectfully disagree with that.  Maybe people who oppose this and live nearby in houses thinks it’s not a home.  But, he suggests apartments are homes for a lot of people.  Are there other apartments for rent in Ellettsville?  Sure there are and that doesn’t come as any surprise.  Again, this would be speculating and not following the rules they’re asked to enforce.  He was asked to look at the Town Code, petition and evidence in the case and what they have is property zoned C-3.  The Town ordinance specifically permits this petition to be built in a C-3 zone.  This is not a close-call or a decision.  Six weeks prior they asked for some standard, rule or code in the ordinance with which this petition doesn’t comply.  The answer has repeatedly been they comply and this is contained in the Staff Report.  They’ve addressed buffering, have shown the Court of Appeals has spoken to compatibility in that C-3 zoning answers to compatibility has a matter of law.  They’ve asked standards for the capacity of adjacent streets or some rule to turn it down because some traffic related reason and there isn’t one because they comply.  If petitioners meet the Town Code rules then it would be arbitrary and capricious to turn it down because speculation about items not in the record of the petition before them.  They are asking the Plan Commission follow the rules as this petition does.  For those reasons they respectfully request the Plan Commission approve the petition so they can get the project going.


Brian Mobley explained §152.276 has several articles about the appearances of neighborhood, preserving areas of natural beauty, natural green spaces, provision for street, utilities and Town services to preserve the natural environment of the sites.  Are 500 cars going to be a natural beauty to the site?  Mr. Tolloty explained §152.276 is under the Planned Unit Development ordinance which would not apply to the apartments.  Mr. Mobley asked why it does not apply.  Mr. Tolloty answered it is not a Planned Unit Development and by law they wouldn’t be able to enforce it. 


The following expressed concerns about the proposed project:


Amanda Henry, resident of Litten Estates

§  Doesn’t want apartments of this size whether or not they’re upscale.

§  Not a part of their family.

§  Upkeep of the apartments.

§  Not a good idea.


Mike Stanley, resident of Litten Estates

§  Devaluation of property.


Ben Scherscheulz, resident of Litten Estates

§  Tenants and rent.

§  Location of parks.


Shelly Nelson, resident of Ridge Springs

§  Traffic.

§  Landscaping.

§  Apartment exteriors.


Tammy Milah, resident of Litten Estates

§  Using neighborhood entrance.

§  Compatibility.


Debbie Gessinger, resident of Litten Estates

§  Traffic.

§  People cleaning up after their pets.

§  Doesn’t want to live in an area with apartments.


Teresa Allison, resident of Litten Estates

§  Doesn’t want apartments.


Debbie Reviter

§  Doesn’t want apartments.

§  Noise.


Steve Milah, resident of Litten Estates

§  Compatibility with high-end homes.

§  Type of residents.

§  Density.

§  Crime.


Reed Nelson, resident of Litten Estates

§  Minimal changes.

§  Property values.


Stacie Myers, resident of Litten Estates

§  Traffic.

§  Trash.


Kathy Chandler, resident of Litten Estates

§  Safety of children living at the apartment complex.


Don Woods

§  Traffic.


Jeyanu Leanoflorez, resident of Litten Estates

§  Safety.

§  Compatibility.

§  Property values.

§  Location of the driveway.


Andy Zelhof, resident of Litten Estates

§  Compatibility.

§  Density.

§  Built in phases.


Ron Eller, resident of Litten Estates

§  Entrance.

§  Traffic.


Carey Marks, resident of Litten Estates

§  Traffic.

§  Aesthetics.

§  Apartment rent.


Paula Anderson, former resident of Ridge Springs

§  Drainage on Ridge Springs.

§  Density.

§  Traffic.


Gene Hopkins

§  Quality of the neighborhood.


Bo Henry, resident of Litten Estates

§  Rent.

§  Compatibility and cohesiveness.

§  Traffic.

§  Safety.

§  Sufficient playground space.


Pat Wesolowski asked if the approved outline plan had apartments in the middle.   Mr. Tapp answered yes.  Mr. Wesolowski asked if this plan was revised.  Mr. Tolloty responded it was amended at Plan Commission in 2006.


David Drake is not for denying the property owners reasonable use of their property or the ability to build multi-family residential similar to those present to the east that are more compatible with the neighborhood.  The concerns raised tonight are valid but are not what they can legally take into account when making their decisions.  He would argue, despite what the petitioner’s attorney said there are still things about this proposal, in his view, that don’t follow the rules as he sees them, i.e., the density of the proposal, topography of the site is not favorable to two and three story buildings next to single family residential, ingress/egress from a high density complex onto a single family street, the area has built out completely different than in 2004 and is nothing like it was originally.  He cannot vote to approve this.  Ms. Hash stated Ellettsville is all single family homes.  There is nothing in Ellettsville that compares to this project.


Kevin Farris commented you take into consideration of any development whether it’s residential, Commercial 1, Commercial 2 or Commercial 3, how it is going to affect the lifestyle of the people around it, their property value and other considerations.  This looks like this is not conducive to the people whom have already vested in the area.


Brian Mobley agrees with David and both attorneys have confirmed it is compatible with Town Code.  There is nothing in Town Code about traffic.  If everyone would get a Comprehensive Plan to go by, it is set by the Town who sends it to the state.  It is for the goodness and building of Ellettsville in the future and keeping it the same.  In our strategy to build Ellettsville, this type of building is not in our scope of work under the Comprehensive Plan.  This is not beneficial for the Town of Ellettsville.


Pat Wesolowski commends the residents of Litten Estates.  There is another commercial property in front and everyone purchased their homes knowing that property could have a strip mall or CVS.  He understands the developer has an investment.  It is time people started being good neighbors.  Would the petitioners want to live there and be setting in the audience?  He doesn’t think it’s compatible and he is worried about the safety of children living at the apartments.  He wants Ellettsville to stay a small town atmosphere.  If the residents of Litten Estates paid $300,000 for their homes and the petitioner can’t put a townhouse or duplex up and get the money out of it then something is wrong or they’re not building it properly.


Sandra Hash read the following excerpt from the Plan Commission meeting minutes of Brian Hearne’s statement at the annexation:  “The front of Litten Estates is zoned commercial and it is approximately 5.36 acres in size.  I don’t really have a detailed plan with this new parcel.  I wanted to secure the property and make it nicer and the current renters that were on that property are working with me to make sure that happens.  I wanted to bring it into Town with the voluntary annexation and, hopefully, in the future do something nice and bring more business to the community.”  When this was presented to the Plan Commission there was never the mention of apartments.  It was only business and he compared it to the business strip in front of his existing addition and we passed it with a C-3 zoning by these remarks in the Fiscal Plan.  When the Fiscal Plan went before the Town Council David Drake made the following remarks:  “I live adjacent to the development and during his many years of experience with Planning and Zoning this is probably one of the best developments he has seen and it exceeded the expectations of his neighborhood as to how the property was developed.”


Terry Baker entertained a motion.  David Drake made a motion to deny the development plan petition for PC 2016-09 with the following findings of fact:  The development plan submitted is not compatible with the surrounding land uses due to the density not being compatible with the single family residential housing that exists currently.  Also, the topography of the land for the proposed is much higher than the surrounding single family residential.  It is not compatible due to the topography and having the backsides of three story apartment buildings along Raymond Run facing the single family residential that is present there to the west or the two to three story buildings that will be facing the single family residential housing to the south.  The topography of this site does not provide for any feasible means for the adequate provision of buffering between the development and the surrounding single family.  Likewise, there is not adequate buffering for the visual impact of the dissimilar developments.  The development plan as submitted does not provide a safe and adequate ingress and egress for the development and that traffic from such a high density use should not exit a single exit onto single family residential streets.  The site faces State Road 46 and any development on it other than single family residential or low density multi-family residential should use State Road 46 for its access.  Brian Mobley seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Terry Baker – yes; David Drake – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Pat Wesolowski – yes; and Sandra Hash - yes.  Motion carried 6-0.


Pat Wesolowski made a motion to adopt the findings as set out by David Drake.  Brian Mobley seconded.  Roll Call Vote:  Terry Baker – yes; David Drake – yes; Kevin Farris – yes; Brian Mobley – yes; Pat Wesolowski – yes; and Sandra Hash - yes.  Motion carried 6-0.


Planning Department Update


Kevin Tolloty, Planning Director, advised in August they will discuss the sign code, electronic sign requests and Centennial Park.  They’re working on the Comprehensive Plan.




Terry Baker adjourned the meeting at 9:19 p.m.